Whether we realise it or not every one of us affects the environment in some way. Now more than ever, it’s getting more and more critical to adopt eco-friendly habits and reduce our carbon footprint. It’s down to all of us to do our bit like waste reduction strategies to keep this planet a decent place to live.
And what better place to start than at home?
By keeping rubbish to a minimum in our own abodes, we not only create a more environmentally-conscious household. We also contribute to a healthier planet in the process.
Don’t know how to start? Let’s take a look at some ways how we can turn our homes into environmentally-friendlier spaces.
How to Reduce Waste In Everyday Life
Cut back on Single-Use Plastics
Can you imagine a world without single-use plastics? I reckon we would all be hard-pressed trying to do so. We use them in almost everything after all, such as when storing our food or carrying grocery hauls.
Unfortunately, single-use plastic shopping bags, food containers, cups and cutlery, are just some of those that take hundreds of years to decompose. They are proven to be extremely unsafe to the Earth with tons of them ending up in our oceans damaging aquatic life.
We can go cold turkey or ease in when it comes to laying off these plastics. Either way, as announced by the government, a ban on these items (including polystyrene containers) will come into force come October 2023.
How do we go about this? Invest in alternatives exist such as refillable water bottles, glass containers, recyclable carton boxes, and paper bags to name a few.
Start refusing plastic bags from groceries and replace them with your own reusable bags. Refillable water bottles also ensure you don’t get thirsty anytime soon. Glass containers need not be disposed immediately can be cleaned over and over.
Donate or Sell Unused and Unwanted Items
You heard it right. One effective strategy to minimise waste at home is to let go of some of our belongings. However, instead of immediately filling the garbage bin with our old toys, clothes, decors, and all that fun stuff, consider selling or donating.
Collecting dust? Never or seldom used for an extended period of time? Time for them to leave the shelves or find new homes.
Sell at a low price! This will expedite the process of letting go of your old possessions while having a little something in return.
If you really want to turnover your stuff quickly, then try giving it away.
Give to charity or give it to people you think might have better use for it. You are literally turning your home to a more environmentally-friendlier space by letting go of old belongings. You also create more space for you and family by giving up what can already be considered litter.
Remember though, what’s litter for you may be treasure for another. We don’t only minimise our trash output, we also make other’s home a little better.
This is a tried and tested method of turning your home into a cleaner, greener, space. While selling or giving away our old possessions can be considered a form of recycling, making sure that we sort our trash responsibly—separating trash from paper, etc.—is critical.
Head to your local recycling areas! Do get accurate information about which one to throw away and which ones to save.
Be mindful of the processes involved when recycling. Take note that not all materials are recyclable and that paper waste contaminated with soiled food is not fit for recycling. Clean recyclables properly.
Composting gives at least three-fold benefits. First is that this practise excellently reduces food waste. Second, as food waste is effectively disposed of, composting also enriches the soil. In short, food scraps can be composted instead of being discarded right away.
More importantly, with composting, we can reduce our organic waste which usually goes to landfills. By doing so, we also minimise the amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
We might as well be referring to how well we should handle urgent matters such as climate change. As bad as this pun is, we really should compose or compost ourselves in the face of piling waste. So how do we do just that?
We can start by buying a compost bin. Better yet, we can create one with the use of found materials such as chicken wire or wood. Don’t forget to place the bin under a shade away from direct sunlight. Toss in it your food scraps there—even eggshells and coffee grounds—and yard waste.
Switch to Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions
Many of the existing products in the market contain chemicals that cause harm in the long run. If you don’t want your efforts in reducing waste to go down the drain, ditch the conventional cleaning products. Opt for safer substitutes that contain natural, non-toxic ingredients.
Clean-Up Our Act
Say goodbye to toxic cleaners! It’s not hard to find more eco-friendlier products these days as many stores carry these items. As always, there are also DIY solutions available. From baking soda to vinegar to lemon juice, these common, household items are not just effective, they cost less as well!
Easy To Improve Waste Management
Waste management? These phrase alone sound easier said than done. Put it together with the phrase ‘easy to improve’ and you’ll immediately feel the situation grow from fairly difficult to complicated and cumbersome.
However, with the right mindset, setting up environmentally-friendlier homes becomes more doable. Managing and reducing our impact becomes less of a chore.
We can start small. But we call also go cold turkey; a complete 360 degrees from how we view and do things. We can pick one strategy for limiting our waste output and go from there.
We’ve listed only five here, but there are limitless strategies, methods and ways to significantly affect the planet for the better.